The American public spent at least $43 million in order to support President Donald Trump‘s considerable golf habit in 2017.
Reports on presidential golf expenses are not itemized under official U.S. government statistics or written into the outlays for the U.S. governmental financial year. Rather, the $43 million total is a low-end estimate provided by TrumpGolfCount.com. (A similar tracker took note of President Barack Obama‘s similarly publicized proclivity for the track.)
Trump’s golf count is mostly based on confirmed news reports of presidential golf outings published by The Washington Post. Additional sources include White House Public Press Pool postings about golf and a handful of additional stories regarding Trump’s frequent golf forays issued by various media. The pool report statistics are culled from press pool RSS feeds mentioning “any of the following words or phrases: vacation, palm beach, \bgolf\b, \bgolfing\b, \bgolfed\b, Trump International, Trump National, Bedminster, [and/or] Sterling.”
Bedminster, New Jersey is the home of the Trump National Golf Course. Sterling, Virginia is the home of the Trump National Golf Club. The entire methodology employed by TrumpGolfCount.com is explained in two lengthy sections of the website here and here.
In sum, President Trump made a confirmed 88 visits to various golf courses in 2017. Some caution, however, as a confirmed visit to a golf club doesn’t necessarily equate to a confirmed game of golf. That list is available in full here.
To break down the numbers a bit, taxpayers shelled out just shy of $20 million for airfare on Trump’s golf outings to Mar-a-Lago alone. An additional $8.5 million was spent on flights to Trump’s Bedminister club.
The site also features a side-by-side comparison between Presidents Obama and Trump–both maligned by their respective political opposition for spending an inordinate amount of time out on the links.
When the 44th and 45th presidents face-off over the dubious honor, however, Trump beats Obama hands-down. In fact, it’s not even close: After the first year of each man’s presidency, Obama had only played golf 28 times; Trump definitely played at least 43 times in that same timespan–and likely played around 76 games of golf–at a cost of roughly $1 million per game–all on the dime of the American people.
[image via screengrab/CBS]